You know that feeling you get when you get a heartfelt “thank you”? It feels pretty good right? To know that what you gave or did for that person really touched them. It's validating not only to receive it but to know that what you did really impacted someone.
Nowadays, there are so many different ways that church members can tithe or give. Gone are the days of just passing the offering plate around, hearing the clink of the coins falling in, or even the awkwardness of passing the plate by when you had nothing to put in! Church members can now also give online through the church website, or even through church apps.
Whatever their method of tithing or giving is, your church family should be thanked for their generous support. Sending out church donation thank you letters may seem old-fashioned, but it is an incredible opportunity for churches to model gratitude and solidify relationships.
It doesn't always have to be a handwritten note, but a small symbol of gratitude shows the donor that they are valued and honored and it also helps them understand what a difference their generous gift and financial support have made.
Church donation letters really should be a standard practice in church management, as it’s a reflection of excellent stewardship.
In this article I will talk about:
- Why You Should Send Church Donation Thank You Letters
- Who Should Receive A Church Donation Thank You Letter?
- How to Write a Church Donation Thank You Letter
- Church Donation Thank You Letter Template
Why You Should Send Church Donation Thank You Letters
The Apostle Paul gives us a great example of how to express gratitude, and we see that with his letters in Phillipians and Colossians.
When you express gratitude to your church community, this will not only encourage them but will foster a sense of being on a mission together. These days, people have so many different causes to give to, and the fact that they have chosen your ministry to invest in is great!
When donors can hear what their impact is doing, this encourages them and solidifies that they are building something with the church body. This should, in turn, encourage more generosity.
Like all non-profit organizations, churches are reliant on church members for their generous support, and your aim is to turn one-time donors into repeat donors!
Who Should Receive A Church Donation Thank You Letter?
Below is a suggested list of the types of church members who should receive church donation thank you letters.
First Time Donors
As we have established already, those that feel acknowledged and appreciated are more likely to be repeat givers. In scripture, it is clear that we must give to the church in order to help push our ministries forward.
But the reality is that many people who attend churches do not give. When someone has had a profound change in their life and they decide to give to a church, this is very exciting and needs to be celebrated and recognized.
Three cheers for those faithful members who are regularly tithing! Let's not overlook them or take them for granted. Think of ways to show your appreciation instead of just the end-of-the-year tax receipt letter. Some churches have a system in place where they will send a note, email, or personal letter every 3 months, thanking regular donors for their continued support.
If you are able to, I would highly encourage you to get to know these donors as well. Depending on the size of your congregation this may not always be possible, but if you have the ability to meet in person and take them for coffee, or even give them a phone call to express appreciation, this goes a long way.
Donors Who Give To A Specific Campaign Or Event
Throughout the year, it is common for churches to make a special callout to church members for extra money towards something. Maybe it's a church building fund, a fundraising campaign for the youth mission trip, or money towards an outreach event. Whatever it is, it's so important to take time to thank those specifically who have given it.
Too often I have seen a lot of preparation in the planning and execution of fundraisers, but have seen very little effort in showing gratitude after the money has been raised. Let's ensure we honor those who have given in this scenario as this type of giving is usually above and beyond their normal giving.
How To Write A Church Donation Thank You Letter
The first thing to remember in writing a church donation thank you letter is to sound like you are a real person. No church member wants a generic, automated-sounding response. Here are some quick tips on writing great thank you letters to your church family.
1. Sound genuine and real
When you are writing a thank you letter to many people in a congregation, this can be difficult. There are so many different people with various degrees of closeness and involvement with the lead pastor and church. A great way to start is to prayerfully consider what you put into a letter.
Having a template with the basic body (like the ones below) is a great framework to start with, as it saves time. Remember also to throw in some personal stuff to make it feel genuine to them.
It may sound like a lot of work, but the time you take to make this donor feel seen and valued will be so worth it. It can be as easy as “I hope you and the family are doing well. We think of Tyler often while he is away at University and look forward to seeing him when he visits for Christmas,” or “We hope your mom is doing ok, we have been praying for a quick recovery.”
Also, be careful with how formal the letter is. If you are quite friendly with the donor and you refer to him by name at church, don’t address the letter with “Dear Mr. Johnson”. This small personal touch will show the members of your church community that you took the time to write the letter and that they are seen.
2. Be specific about the donation received and how it will be used
Be specific in why you are thanking them. If it's a monetary donation, thank them for the donation amount. If it's a donation of items, thank them for those specific items and explain how they will be used and how they will bless the church.
Depending on how open and detailed you can be, explain how this donation will be used and how it will affect and help the ministry. When people hear how their specific donation has made a difference, it brings them encouragement and will often spur them to continue to donate.
3. Don’t wait too long!
They say the proper etiquette for sending out thank you notes is about 2 weeks, which is a pretty fast turnaround. Definitely do it within the month. If the donor has to wait too long to receive a note, they may feel that the donation was either never received, or they may feel that their donation was not valued.
Church Donation Thank You Letter Template
Here are a few different templates to get you started.
Template for First-Time Donor
Use this template for first-time donors.
Dear [donor name],
I’m reaching out to thank you for your recent donation! Your generosity is so appreciated. Our church has been continually blessed by the faithful giving of partners like you!
Our records show that this is your first financial gift to [church name]. What a privilege it is to be on this mission together. We know that God has big plans in store for this city, and it’s because of generosity like this that we can continue to build what He has started.
At the end of the year, you will also receive a receipt letter listing your contribution, if you would like to claim it for tax purposes.
Again, your generosity has blessed us immensely. God bless you.
Template for Continued Donor
Use this template for ongoing donors.
Dear [donor name]
I hope you and [family] are doing well. First, I just wanted to express how much of a joy it is to have you and your whole family as part of our church. I remember when you started attending, [personal anecdote]!
I just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you for your faithful financial support these last few months. I am truly blessed that I get to be part of a generous and faith-filled church community.
We have seen some amazing things this past year [add some recent highlights from the church, such as church events, baptisms, or examples of local outreach]. This has only been made possible because of your generous donation.
I look ahead with such excitement because I know that God has so much more in store for us as a church family!
Praying for God's blessing over you and your family.
Template for Special Fundraisers
Use this template for donors that contribute to special fundraisers for things like mission trips.
Dear [donor name]
On behalf of [church name], I would like to thank you for your generous gift of [amount donated].
Your financial commitment to helping us with this [name of a mission trip or outreach] is sincerely appreciated. With the generous support of church families like you, we will be able to see many lives changed in [place or country of missionary trip].
For more information on how your donation is helping to make a difference in the lives of so many people in [place or country of missionary trip], we invite you to visit our church website.
Thank you again for your generous support of our efforts to impact more lives for Jesus.
Keep It Simple!
The most important thing to remember in this whole process is to not overthink it. This should be seen as a simple way of sharing gratitude and joy throughout your church community, not a chore.
Most church giving is done because people do acts of kindness and generosity from the goodness of their hearts, without expecting a thank you. But the reality is that most people appreciate being thanked.
Throughout the Bible, we consistently read how God has called us all to be thankful people. Therefore, anyone who gives to the church deserves to be shown gratitude and thankfulness.
For help managing church donations, try donor management software, and subscribe to The Lead Pastor newsletter.